ISMANING, October 23, 2020
Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India and Antoine Hoang from France lead the semi-finals line-up of the Wolffkran Open, an €44,820 ATP Challenger tournament held in Ismaning, Germany.
In the pair’s first meeting, No. 7 seed Gunneswaran battled past German qualifier Daniel Masur 7-5, 6-7(9), 6-3 on Friday. The World No. 152 fired 14 aces on the fast carpet and won 77 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in two hours and 25 minutes.
Gunneswaran, who has been practicing at the Alexander Waske University in Offenbach, Germany, for almost 10 years, told Tennis TourTalk after the match: “It was mentally tough today, but I fought hard.”
Next up for the 30-year-old from Chennai will be Botic van de Zandschulp, who also had to go the distance in his quarterfinal match against home favourite Tobias Kamke. The 25-year-old from the Netherlands outpointed the German veteran 99-97 to prevail 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(9) after two hours and 17 minutes.
“It was a close match, which could have gone either way,” said van de Zanschulp, who captured his maiden Challenger title in Hamburg last year. “He was a break up in the third and I had the chance to serve the match out at 5-4 but didn’t do it. Then it went into the tie-break with ups and downs. There were some good points from both of us and in the end my serve made the difference.
“I feel good here on the carpet and hope to continue this way.”
Huesler to face Hoang
In the top half of the draw, Marc-Andrea Huesler defeated No. 5 seed Sebastian Korda from the United States 6-4, 6-4. The 24-year-old Swiss saved all nine break points he faced and capitalized on two of his own two break-point chances to advance in 69 minutes.
“He is a very good player. He had a lot of break point chances but I played well in these moments. I also served well, so I am happy with the result of a tough match,” said Huesler, who will play No. 4 seed Hoang in the stage of the final four.
The World No. 134 from Aix-en-Provence rallied past German wild card entry Maximilian Marterer 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the final match on Friday. Hoang withstood 18 aces and broke his opponent’s serve three times to finish the encounter after exactly two hours of play.